FRV Australia and Genesis Joint Venture Begin Construction of the Biggest Solar Farm in New Zealand

FRV Australia, a leading developer of sustainable energy solutions, and part of Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, OMERS and its joint venture (JV) partner Genesis Energy, a New Zealand publicly listed electricity generation company, have begun the construction of the largest solar farm in New Zealand after reaching financial close in December 2023

This 63 MW solar farm is located one hour’s drive from Christchurch, at Lauriston on the Canterbury Plains. The plant is on a 93-hectare site and, once operational, will power the equivalent of nearly 13,000 houses.

It is expected to create more than 50 jobs during the construction phase and employ up to three full-time staff when operational. The expected construction costs are approximately NZ$104 million.

The site is expected to be generating electricity by the end of 2024. The joint venture also signed a 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Genesis Energy which will take all the renewable energy from the site.

Malcolm Johns Genesis CEO said: “For New Zealand to reach net zero 2050 the country’s energy must become 60% electric, 95% renewable and available 100% of the time. Solar has a clear role to play in this transition, and Lauriston is the first stage of the joint venture commitment to build 500 MW of solar capacity throughout New Zealand.”

The debt funding is provided by Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) and MUFG Bank  (MUFG). The joint venture has selected Beon to carry out the construction of the project, with initial works already underway.

FRV Australia and Beon have a successful history delivering solar farms together in Australia. FRV Australia is co-owned by Canadian pension fund and infrastructure investor OMERS.